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File: 1627816437480.png (2.04 MB, 1920x1080, The Conjunction.png)

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The Echoes are changed to their core.

Skylord Lysander is dead. The veil of the Cuckoo's Egg is lifted, revealing a new and altered world. The old chaos runs rampant. In a distant land, the flame of ambition is lit in a woman's heart. And somewhere, sometime, the drifters who were at the heart of it all awaken, amidst the ash and rubble of their former home.

Runes of Union hang in the sky, radiating their primordial spell. The world is unmade and remade again. Beyond the scope of the light they knew, and beyond the reach of the terror and dark, the drifters tread now, peering through the fog of the Conjunction, in search of answers…
360 posts omitted. Click reply to view.



Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5



searching for a place to take cover, I try to make myself less noticable amidst the rock.
[1d10] Stealth

Roll #1 9 = 9


Aegis reacts quickly, slidding behind a large rock
'1d10' stealth

Roll #1 1 = 1


Silver, Violet and Marisol manage to hide in time. Norv, Aegis, Gawain and Rabi get caught before you can make it to safety, as a scorching spotlight from the sky suddenly floods the area with burning light. From the clouds above, the twin snakes begin to emerge. Gawain seems to stop moving entirely as it happens, frozen mid action.

First one snake emerges, its eyes glowing brilliantly. It's now that you realize they're not of flesh and blood; their bodies seem to consist of streaks of white lightning, coalesced into serpentine form. Flashes dart across its swaying form, clouds gathering about them to form its reptilian visage, its body crackling with the power of the sky. It bears down on you with predatory intent, and the light around you begins to shine brighter and brighter, blindingly white. It gets closer and closer, its eyes beginning to strobe like flashlights-

Then, something strange happens. The second serpent emerges, and you see now that its eyes aren't shining bright, but dark, black like storm clouds. It surges towards its twin, causing the shining one to recoil and shy away from you. The two storm-beasts intertwine like strands of a braid, and retreat back into the sky.

The whole thing is over as quickly as it begins. Your companions wait to be doubly sure the coast is clear before emerging. "What the hell just happened?" Violet asks in bewilderment. "One of them stopped the other? Gods, I thought you were in for it. Are you alright?" she asks with concern. "You're not hurt?" Marisol chimes in, poking her head out from a bush. "Whatever's going on, we're lucky they decided not to. Are they toying with us? Or is there something else going on?…"


I watch, slowly calming as they retreat back into the sky. "Well, whatever it is we can worry about it later. For now we really, really gotta get back to town. The 'they'll leave us alone because we're outsiders' theory is bust."


Having avoided the glare of the serpent's light, I rush out to check on Rabi and the others.

"Are you alright, dear?"

"It was as if they were fighting one another for a moment, but I haven't a clue why."

"Right. We had best make for town and relay our findings while the serpents are busy."


''I'm fine'' Aegis says, rubbing the arm she scraped as she tripped
''Seems that our predators had a disagreement on something'' The crystal mare looks towards the sky ''Either way its clear we cannot stand against them, their bodies seemed to be made of energy, pure magic. Closer to a force of nature than a living being''
''…Lets head back, maybe Dalliance will know more''


"I… I don't know. Something about them is strange- they're not as close as they might seem, I guess?" The stallion says, shaking his head and humming.


"It looked like they were at odds," Marisol agrees. "One light, and one dark…"

"We're lucky they decided to quarrel," Violet comments. She looks over to Gawain, who still looks a little dazed. "How are you holding up?"

He comes to, snapping out of his daydream. "Hm? I'm, er… feeling a bit out of sorts, I'll admit. My head hurts terribly…"

Marisol frowns. Wordlessly, she offers him some of her water. The least she can think to do. He accepts it with a muttered thanks, and you press on.

The rest of the journey is kept with one eye on the sky, as usual. However, the serpents never emerge again, and your journey onward goes undisturbed. You're left alone with your thoughts, and the whistling wind.

In the afternoon, you make it back to Moonhollow, the exertions of traveling starting to take their toll. You're tired and hungry from the ordeal. A guard calls out, and Dalliance comes out to meet you eagerly. She's not wearing her armor this time, giving you a better look at her; she's petite, with a brown coat and a silver mane in a ponytail. "Welcome back!" she says eagerly, greeting you with a smile. "How did it go? Did the snakes give you any trouble?"


"A little, but… I don't know- I feel like there's something more to the two of them. They're… well, fighting? At odds? Maybe what's been happening is, for a lack of a better word, just crossfire."


"Honestly? Went better than I expected. Got some stuff mapped out. We're back to rest, resupply some, and get safe from the sky lizards." I glance over at Gawain. "We do gotta ask you some questions about that, though."


"More than a fair share, I'd say. Our theory that they're only after those in the town was proven patently false; we were hounded by the serpents for most of the mission."

"Sir Gawain in particular was caught in their glare, and was, concerningly, afflicted with strange visions.. And a rather intense headache."

"Has Anypony else reported the same?"


''They also dont seem to have a pattern to them, at least none that I noticed'' Aegis continues after her comrades
''One minor thing to report is that we found a cave full of prowlers, but they were the first ones I ever seem that were completely passive. Even when cornered they made no effort to fight for their lives. What Gawain said then stuck with me; They're burning the gods. The pain, the fear…''


"I said that?" Gawain looks lost.

"You did," says Violet.

Dalliance takes in your report. When she hears about Gawain getting caught in the light, her face turns to stone. She takes a deep breath and steels herself, visibly shaken but keeping it together. "Listen. If this is what I think it is, then, well, we have a much bigger problem on our hands than I thought. I saw something like this, a long time ago. I didn't want to believe it'd come back, but… Well. We can figure it out. It's still early after all."

"You must be exhausted, though. Let's talk. Drinks?" She motions towards Bonfire's inn nearby.


I nod along. Yeah, maybe this thing with Gawain is worse than I thought. "Alright. Yeah. I can always go for drinks."


''Please.'' Aegis says, dragging herself to the inn


Concerned by her reaction, I nod wearily at her offer. "That would be lovely, thank you."


Rabi carefully pats Gawain's back, helping him on towards the inn. "That sounds great, Dalliance- a chance to sit by a warm fire would be appreciated."


You head back to the inn. As always, there's no customers. Bonfire is by the fireplace, entertaining herself by playing both sides of a chess game. Somehow, she's losing.

She perks up as you enter and the little bell above the door rings, hastily standing up. "Oh, hey loves! Thought you'd packed up for good! Oh, Dalliance too! What can I get you?"

"Just a whiskey for me. Thanks, Bonfire." Dalliance smiles warmly and takes a seat at a large table, motioning for the rest of you. "Time for a history lesson," she sighs, mentally bracing herself.

"Righto! And for the rest of you?" Bonfire waits expectantly to take your orders before you get into it with Dalliance.


''Something Spicy'' Aegis takes her place ''Do you have a place to bathe here by the way? I'd like a warm bath''


I wave. "Hey, Bon. The way things look we'll be in and out for a little bit. I'll take a whiskey, too."


"A glass of wine for me, please." I reply, settling into my seat at the table.

"Ah, that would be lovely! A bath and A chance to wash the smoke from my dress as well."


"Yup, all the private rooms have baths. I'll set them up for you, no worries!"

Violet, Marisol and Gawain order brandy, a mojito, and beer respectively. "How does she afford all this food and drink with no money?" Marisol wonders out loud once she's out of earshot.

"It's her own brand of magic," Dalliance explains. "She can conjure the raw ingredients out of thin air, and applies her talents to them. She's a real asset to the town. If it weren't for her powers we probably would've faded away long ago."

The drinks arrive shortly, cool and refreshing, warming the cockles of your hearts after the expedition. Aegis' spice cocktail has a pleasant tingle to it.

After taking a moment to relax, Dalliance begins. "So. The snakes had a glow to them, did they."

"That's right. One did, at least," Marisol explains. "Light from the eyes. The other's eyes had gone dark."

Dalliance nods. "And the light affected your friend here. …Then, well, I hope I'm wrong about this." She rummages in her pocket, eventually producing a cigar. She lights it and starts smoking as she reminisces.

"It was 25 years ago now. The town was overrun by a plague. A magical blight that enslaved the people. Light from the eyes was the telltale sign. The Glow, we called it. The lord of the town called for aid in combating it. I answered the call. So did others…

"It turned out the Glow was a witch's curse. She'd died long ago, but her familiar remained in secret. Those affected were slaves to her will. Luckily, one of the drifters managed to find a cure, but it was still a long, bloody campaign. The witch and her familiar were defeated. We became legends to the people that remained. Eventually, our little band of heroes went their separate ways. But I found a home here, and the people needed a new leader.

She takes another drag. "So that was that. Things were peaceful around here for a while, but, well, the town's a shadow of what it was in its heyday. If this is the Glow returning… Dammit, we destroyed that sorceress, Henke. And her demon familiar was banished forever. I… I don't see how it could be possible. But if those… things… have the Glow… Then that means they're being controlled by something. Or someone. Could it be her ghost back again? Or something else…"


I take a sip of my whiskey, feeling it warm the pit of my stomach. Setting the glass back down, I hum. "Yeah. Yeah, that's bad. Hopefully it's something else. How did the curse pass? Was it just through seeing the glow or whatever? If this is what it is should we be worried?"


"Huh. Well, is there a way to fix it? Maybe the serpent with the glowing eyes could, I dunno- be un-cursed, or something. There has to be a way, right?"


''Then that means'' Aegis starts, panting slightly with her face red from her drink ''That Gawain is potentially dangerous to let roam around, as he can fall under the control of the Serpent's, or the one they serve''
Aegis closes her eys in thought ''But only one of them had the glow in their eyes… What if whats happening is that only one of them has the curse, and the other is trying to find help to heal its kindred?''


I mull the information over while sipping my wine.

"Hmm.. It certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility her spirit has returned, We've certainly seen worse."

"What of her grave? I'd imagine if she's returned by some foul sorcery her body may have been disturbed in the process."


"It spread through sight," she confirms. "By making eye contact with someone with it, the curse would pass on. But it couldn't spread at this stage of the… infection. For lack of a better name." She looks over a rather distressed looking Gawain. "It started with headaches, strange speech, general lethargy. Eventually, light starts shining from the eyes, a pinpoint at first. It gets to the point where their eyes are like sunbeams. That's when they start spreading it, and their will is gone."

"There was," she says wistfully. "The only one that could cure it left Moonhollow long ago, and the cures she left behind are long gone. Then there's the fact that the town ended up down here in the first place."

"Down here," Violet parrots. "You mean the Echoes?"

She nods. "There was a war on the outside, long after the Glow was gone. Fighting over land, resources. We thought we'd be able to avoid it, but their petty battles found their way to us. A whole stretch of land sunken, sent here to the Echoes. It was a disaster. Moonhollow's been struggling ever since, and the sun vanishing a year ago doesn't exactly help."

"W-well, I still have my wits about me," Gawain says nervously. "How long does it take to progress to… that?"

"A few days. Though, things might be different now. Either way, the best thing to do would be to keep you isolated for now, sir."


"We have to treat this like any other sickness. Until we have a cure, we need to keep you away from other people. There's an abandoned hut on the edge of town. I'll have people set it up for you. Don't worry, we won't treat you like a leper. None of this is your fault. We'll make this as comfortable as we can."

"Their minds being split sounds very likely from what we've heard. Though it still doesn't answer the question of why none of us can leave."

"Impossible. There was no grave to disturb. She was killed long before the Glow began, and even then there was nothing left but her skull. We broke that into a million pieces long ago and threw it in the sea. There'd have to be some insanely powerful black magic going on to bring her back in any form."

"I mean, the sun did go out," Violet remarks. "That's pretty next level."

"If they're connected…" Dalliance pinches the bridge of her snout. "Well, I don't even want to think about it. We have our hands full with these sky snakes as it is. I can't imagine being involved with something like that."


"Well, it sounds like we hardly have any time for our friend, and probably even less for that serpent- we ought to try and find a way to recreate the cure."


"If this is the glow, you don't think some record of the cure's composition could have survived the ages and the shift here?"

"I'm something of an alchemist, though my original equipment was destroyed some time ago. Perhaps I could recreate it, given the ingredients."


I shift a little, take a large swig of my whiskey, and let out an uncomfortable laugh. "Yeah," I agree. "Can't imagine being involved with something like that. Either way, do you really think even if it was her she was powerful enough to take control of one of these things? They seem like soaring draconifications of a thunderstorm." I sigh and lean forward. "I don't know. It'd be so much easier if we could communicate with the darker one. Maybe it could tell us how we can help. Still not understanding how the prowlers fit into this either. But hey. We'll figure something out. Probably."


''It is a bit of a stretch, but I could, in theory, attempt to take in the magic of the curse, and attempt to dissect it and understand how it works, but that would take months if not years. Plus I think even that would be pointless since the curse spreads through sight… There's no other way, we will have to find an specialist on curses who can deal with this, or somehow find a trace of the one who first healed it. Do you know what was her name?'' Asked Aegis to Dalliance



"I-I swear I heard it speaking to me," Gawain explains. "Or something did, at least. When it caught me. …And then I… No… Well, I can't remember what it said, but there was something there. They- something- wants to send a message."

Dalliance thinks about this for a while. "Maybe… Hm. It could be trying to resist the Glow, somehow. It affected animals, but I never saw it enslave something on that level. I don't think it's worth the risk testing that on a hunch, though."

She shrugs off that suggestion. "Like you said, that'd take too long. Her name was Rainy Springs, but she left a long time ago. She could be anywhere. If she's even alive."

Dalliance perks up at Silver's suggestion. "Do… Do you think you could? I'd have to have a look around town, maybe she left something behind. No, actually, I'm sure she did." She seems more animated now. "There was some alchemical gear lying around too, back when we used the church to… Well nevermind that. I'll do everything I can to dig it up. The town's counting on it. And… thank you. In advance, I mean. We might not have much to work with, but if you can pull this off, well, you'll have saved us all."

She nods. "Yeah. I'll do that, and set up the home for Gawain here. In the meantime, you should all get some rest. I won't ask you to go out there again, especially with those snakes around, but if you can keep exploring, and filling out that map, we'd be extremely grateful. If not, well, we don't have much in town, but feel free to look around if you like."


"Of course- I'd love to do everything I can to help, regardless of whether or not my friend's in danger."


"Well, sittin on our butts around here don't help nobody, yeah? Probably gonna rest up." I take another swig of my drink. "Gear up. Tinker around with some of my stuff." I sigh. "With what I can, anyway. It'd be nice if I had some tools, but lost mine and haven't seen any around here."


"Ah, excellent news! Once we've rested we can hop to searching for those notes on the cure."


''I want to help search for the notes as well'' Aegis tells Silver ''Its the only helpful thing I can do it seems. I know very little of alchemy and my magic is no good against those serpents.''
Aegis takes a swig of her drink ''If only I still had the Liber…''


"Hmm… I wish I knew more to help with making a cure- but, I figure you and Silver can get it, for sure! I might be able to at least help gather what's needed, though."


Dalliance blinks. "Please. You don't owe us anything. If you'd rather stay a while, you're a welcome guest. You've already done so much for us, and we can't give much in return. No one else is willing to risk themselves like you do."

"What sort of tools?" Dalliance asks. "I can see about finding something for you if you like."

"You want to help with that? Well, I won't say no. I guess it'd be good to have some helping hands. Let me know when you're ready and we can search the town hall. That's where we keep all our records of the past."

Marisol does a double take at your musing. "Wait. What? What happened to the Animarum?" she asks urgently. Violet and Gawain look a bit lost.


"Hey, I'm always happy to help those that need it- I know what it's like to kind of feel helpless, so I try to help out everywhere I can."


''It wasnt with me when we woke up. I searched for it among the debris of the Fortune but found nothing.'' Aegis calmly tells Marisol


"I lost my greatbow too- it seems not everything survived the Union. I guess that's what happens, sometimes."


"Well, some basic tools would be nice to start off with. Hammer, screwdriver, maybe some kinda saw. The kind of, uh…" I mime snipping scissors. "The flat scissors?" I snap. "Pliers. I think I have some screws and stuff, but anything like that could be useful too." I rub the back of my neck. "Hate to ask for too much, though. Especially if I ain't even sure what I'd do yet. For now I think I have some stuff I can work with."

"Hey, does your book say how to make gunpowder or anything like it? I have no supply of gunpowder and I'm a little scared to try using the viridust in my rifle."


"Well that's concerning… Do you suppose it was destroyed in the wreck? Or… stolen? That thing almost seemed to have a mind of its own. Maybe it just… I don't know, decided to abandon you." She sighs. "I bet Dawn would have known. She always had an answer for everything."

"Basic tools," she nods. "I'll chase those up for you, no problem. I'll get back to you on it by tomorrow."

As you converse, you feel a sudden quake, and the rumbling of thunder. The serpents are at it again. Dalliance perks up like a prairie dog as there's a flash of lightning outside. She peers out the window of the inn; they seem to be converging outside the main gate, where you arrived. "Shit. What now?" Seeing a potential threat to the town, she cuts the conversation short, and rushes out to see what's going on out there.


>The Dissident:

You've been traveling for several days now, trekking through the eerily empty wilderness. You and Nicola trudge across rock, dirt and the occasional greenery, making your way towards the settlement you spotted. It seems to get further away the longer you travel. Food and water is scarce. Overall, morale is low, and while Nicola has unlimited stamina, your own is starting to run out. Every step is harder to take than the last, but finally, the settlement is in sight, and it looks inhabited.

As you begin your approach, however, the skies darken. Storm clouds begin to gather, unnaturally fast, and they seem to be converging right above you. Nicola freezes as she stares at the dark mass in the sky. "Oh no. What… what do we do?" She looks around, but there's not much chance of taking cover, at least not in a way that matters.


The dragoness does not attempt to hide her dissatisfaction with the state of their adventure. "As if the starvation and dehydration was not enough. The gods challenge us once more." She says, scoffing at that last statement. She begins to spread her wings as the aching pain of exhaustion shoots through them, keeping her grounded.

"If we cannot find shelter, we must hurry into this town." She says, surveying the landscape in a vain attempt to find anything that would help.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


"I would have found it if it was destroyed" Aegis says plainly
"It could have decided to leave… I haven't made use of it much, if at all… Perhaps one of the demons got impatient and decided it should go into someone else's hooves so they could get them to come after me, since I didn't manage to keep my end of a deal"

Upon hearing the serpents up to trouble again, Aegis stands up and trots after Dalliance


"Up to it again? We'd best go see what's up, yeah?" he offers, grabbing his bow and running out after Dalliance.


"Hmm.. I could certainly check. The fall damaged my notes quite badly, but perhaps there's still something of use on gunpowder.."

Pulling out the remains of my Alchemy notes, I carefully flip through what's left on the hunt for gunpowder recipes.
[1d10] notes search

Having checked for Information, my search was interrupted by the sounds of the serpents' arrival.

Packing away my notes, I follow after Dalliance in concern, tense at the thought of the serpent's strange gaze.

Roll #1 6 = 6


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